Winfield, Mo. - In just its second year of existence, the newly reformed Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Winfield High chapter took home a first-place trophy in a state-wide competition this April. The competition, located in Springfield, hosted a wide array of schools. Winfield High’s FBLA program, managed by faculty member Wendy Fearn, boasts 14 members, of which two were recognized at the contest.
The chapter, reestablished last year during COVID, is a large club with nearly 100 students being tied to the organization in total. Regarding her position as faculty leader of the Winfield chapter, Fearn shared, “[The FBLA] has really helped with the student’s relationships with their peers and local business owners. Students can use this experience on college scholarship applications and resumes. It is an honor to help lead these students to success.
Senior Grace Nicholl, recently declared a Missouri Scholar 100 program honorable mention, took first in the Human Resource Management division. She received a banner, trophy and medal as her reward.
Maddy Gerholdt took sixth place in the same division, receiving a medal for her efforts. Before they could medal, however, they had to pass a few preliminary trials including a 100 questions test in order to qualify for state rankings.
Nicholl has only been a member since the start of this year, when she was recruited by Fearn to take a few FBLA tests. After realizing she qualified for the state competition, she began taking the contest seriously. She shared that, without others support, she “Would not have even thought about competing and would have missed out on [a] great opportunity.”
In reference to the competition itself, Nicholl stated, “The whole FBLA experience was truly incredible. Besides the fun that I had spending time with the members of FBLA from my own school, meeting other members and listening to the speakers there was awesome.” The competition had many avenues of participation including projects, role playing, speeches and tests.
Her favorite part of the event was standing on stage with her peer and personal friend Gerholdt, of whom she is very proud.
Gerholdt is in her second year of the program, having joined to improve her academic resume and spend time with friends in the FBLA.
She shared about her experience with the chapter, stating, “FBLA was a learning experience for me. I learned how to go outside my comfort zone.” Before attending college, Gerholdt plans on committing to a year of mission in Ireland. Commenting on her sixth-place finish, she stated “Winning means a lot to me, because I come from a very competitive family.”
Both students worked hard and performed exemplary on the state level, with Fearn sharing, “Grace and Maddy took the extra time to study, and that is what drove them to their success.” They stand out as signs of Winfield High’s dedication to excellence in academics.